The Importance Of Dialectical Tension In Interpersonal Relationships

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Relationships feel constant pushes and pulls of dialectical tensions—these tensions are ever present because they are inherent to the creation of long-lasting, and functional, relationships. Since these are ever present and ever important, knowing what they are and the strategies for handling these dialectical tensions are extremely important. There is a nuance to finding the balance between the poles, and between the people, involved in these relationships. These are not necessarily romantic either; dialectical tensions exist in every interpersonal relationship. Even though I have experienced these issues in every interpersonal relationship in my life, there is one notable situation where finding a medium between my needs and the needs of a romantic partner eventually created a rift so wide that we never recovered; having previous knowledge of these dialectical tensions and the methods …show more content…
There is famous research on the subject of dialectical tensions; Baxter and Montgomery (1996) in their book “Relating Dialogues and Dialectics” asserted there are three different dialectical tensions, and six different parts; the first is “Autonomy vs Connectedness”, or the need between independence and connection. The second dialectical tension is “Novelty vs Predictability (or spontaneity)”, or the need between wanting new, fresh things vs. the familiar. The third and final dialectical tension is “Openness vs Closedness”—this dialectical tension focuses on the need between wanting to share information vs. maintaining privacy in the relationship (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996). While these six can operate as opposites, they are not necessarily mutually exclusive; relationships can maintain some sort of openness with

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